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50's/60's Production

Teknite
KVRist
 
48 posts since 19 Sep, 2010

Postby Teknite; Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:33 pm 50's/60's Production

I'm trying to match the production sounds of the late 1950's early 60's. Any thoughts/tips on this track to improve? thanks

https://soundcloud.com/troy-passmore/singing-the-blues
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planetearth
KVRian
 
1219 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:14 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

Teknite wrote:I'm trying to match the production sounds of the late 1950's early 60's. Any thoughts/tips on this track to improve? thanks

https://soundcloud.com/troy-passmore/singing-the-blues

Do you want this to sound like Rockabilly, Country or actual Blues? Right now, it sounds a bit too clean and bright to be from the '50s, especially in one of those genres.

There are quite a few posts on KVR about how to make recordings sound like they're from a certain era. You can limit the number of mics on your (real or virtual) drum kit, replace an electric bass with an acoustic one (or use it without a real/virtual amp and just go straight into the board), and try "warming up" the vocals using different EQ and reverb settings and combinations.

Right now, this track is rather "bright"--too bright for such a vintage sound. Did you boost any high-end on the vocals, guitar or drum? To start, I'd roll off everything above around 14 kHz, with a gentle, -6 dB/octave slope. It's also a bit too "live". Maybe roll back the mix and the length on the reverb. Think "Everyday" by Buddy Holly, unless you're going for a different kind of artist or sound.

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
21372 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:35 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

Ditch the drums and get a washboard ;) Maybe up the tempo a tad ... back then it would have gone down live, in mono (one mic only). Your mix sounds too 'clean' to me. Perhaps a saturation plugin could help.
Last edited by thecontrolcentre on Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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planetearth
KVRian
 
1219 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:38 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

thecontrolcentre wrote:Ditch the drums and get a washboard ;) Maybe up the tempo a tad ...

Washboards are surprisingly underrated in the VST arena. :wink:

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
10185 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:45 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

planetearth wrote:
Teknite wrote:I'm trying to match the production sounds of the late 1950's early 60's. Any thoughts/tips on this track to improve? thanks

https://soundcloud.com/troy-passmore/singing-the-blues

Do you want this to sound like Rockabilly, Country or actual Blues? Right now, it sounds a bit too clean and bright to be from the '50s, especially in one of those genres.

There are quite a few posts on KVR about how to make recordings sound like they're from a certain era. You can limit the number of mics on your (real or virtual) drum kit, replace an electric bass with an acoustic one (or use it without a real/virtual amp and just go straight into the board), and try "warming up" the vocals using different EQ and reverb settings and combinations.

Right now, this track is rather "bright"--too bright for such a vintage sound. Did you boost any high-end on the vocals, guitar or drum? To start, I'd roll off everything above around 14 kHz, with a gentle, -6 dB/octave slope. It's also a bit too "live". Maybe roll back the mix and the length on the reverb. Think "Everyday" by Buddy Holly, unless you're going for a different kind of artist or sound.

Steve


Can't unhear the rhythm "method" after reading the YT comments. However, yes, way too live.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty31QY5ZGHo
Teknite
KVRist
 
48 posts since 19 Sep, 2010

Postby Teknite; Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:37 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

Ok I updated it (with more detail) but with a good amount of saturation added and tape reel qualities. I haven't EQ'd anything to boost the high end (more mid) but I also tried not getting carried away with making it sound artificially vintage by turning down all the high end.

I know in those days they had Neumann u47-ish technology so the sweet spot I'm trying to reach is quality sound being captured yet with the production that tips our ears off that it's from that mid-century era.

and sadly I don't own a drum kit (and I'm recording alone) so the only live aspects are the guitar and vocals which were simultaneously recorded.

https://soundcloud.com/troy-passmore/singing-the-blues
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planetearth
KVRian
 
1219 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:20 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

Teknite wrote:Ok I updated it (with more detail) but with a good amount of saturation added and tape reel qualities. I haven't EQ'd anything to boost the high end (more mid) but I also tried not getting carried away with making it sound artificially vintage by turning down all the high end.

I know in those days they had Neumann u47-ish technology so the sweet spot I'm trying to reach is quality sound being captured yet with the production that tips our ears off that it's from that mid-century era.

and sadly I don't own a drum kit (and I'm recording alone) so the only live aspects are the guitar and vocals which were simultaneously recorded.

https://soundcloud.com/troy-passmore/singing-the-blues

What are you using for drums? And how are you processing them? I'd drop the level of the crash cymbals on the drums; they're quite loud. Overall, the drums are the loudest instrument, so you may want to bring them down.

Any reverb (and I still think there's a bit too much, especially on the kick drum) should be added to all the instruments on the Master buss Send, and not individually on each track or instrument. They should all sound as if they were recorded in the same space (in this case, a small room or studio, not a live hall). I'd remove any reverb/ambience from the individual tracks, if possible. This will also help them "gel" in the reverb space you create for them.

Are the guitar and vocal on the same track, or are they at least on separate tracks, even though they were recorded together? If they're on the same track, you might as well ignore the next couple of tips. :wink:

The guitar should be a bit louder, preferably with a Fender amp sim (even a free one) to warm them up a bit. You don't need distortion, but an amp sim and speaker cabinet combo would help the guitar sound.

You might want to bring the lead vocal down a bit. And double-tracking parts of the lead wasn't done much before the mid-'60s. The slap-back effect you have on the lead vocal is fine, but when you add a second vocal, that slap-back becomes a bit too much, and calls attention to itself more than letting the vocals blend and support each other.

A basic, "opto-compressor" on the Master Buss (before the reverb) could help "glue" all this together. You can grab a free version of one somewhere. These were available by the early '60s, and can really help make the piece sound "finished".

Overall, I still think the track is a bit too bright. We can see what others think, but if most of them say it's a bit bright, you might want to check your monitors or headphones, to make sure they're reproducing the sounds accurately. If they're rolling off the high-end a bit, you won't hear the same "brightness" we hear, and that will lead you to make EQ, level and reverb choices based upon false information.

The melody definitely sounds like it's from the era and your phrasing of the lyrics fits the style, too. It'll be interesting to hear it once it's all together. :wink:

Hope this helps!

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
21372 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:51 am Re: 50's/60's Production

planetearth wrote:The melody definitely sounds like it's from the era and your phrasing of the lyrics fits the style, too.

"Singing The Blues" is a 50's classic ... this is a cover version.
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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
21372 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:57 am Re: 50's/60's Production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4
This version is from 1956 ...
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
10185 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:44 am Re: 50's/60's Production

thecontrolcentre wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4
This version is from 1956 ...


Awesome, and I think that it highlights planetearth's points. OPs drummer is a bit loud and too much of a showoff for that era.

Is the mix challenge still going? This would be a good candidate for that, no?
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planetearth
KVRian
 
1219 posts since 10 Jul, 2006, from Tampa

Postby planetearth; Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:15 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

thecontrolcentre wrote:<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4</span>
This version is from 1956 ...

Ah! That's why it sounded vaguely familiar to me. Thanks!

ghettosynth wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4
This version is from 1956 ...


Awesome, and I think that it highlights planetearth's points. OPs drummer is a bit loud and too much of a showoff for that era.

Is the mix challenge still going? This would be a good candidate for that, no?

Do you guys think it also seems a bit too bright? Not trying to harp on the OP, but I think the vocals (and drums) should be a bit more "mellow". But if it's just me, I'd like to know that, too.

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.
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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
 
3942 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from the grimness of yorkshire

Postby donkey tugger; Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:53 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

planetearth wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4</span>
This version is from 1956 ...

Ah! That's why it sounded vaguely familiar to me. Thanks!

ghettosynth wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7z9SBZwr4
This version is from 1956 ...


Awesome, and I think that it highlights planetearth's points. OPs drummer is a bit loud and too much of a showoff for that era.

Is the mix challenge still going? This would be a good candidate for that, no?

Do you guys think it also seems a bit too bright? Not trying to harp on the OP, but I think the vocals (and drums) should be a bit more "mellow". But if it's just me, I'd like to know that, too.

Steve


I think you're right, the drums are still a bit too prominent and defined to me too - like close mic'ing rahter than a room sound.

Listening to the original above, also it sounds like brushes to me. Nothing to say of course that this needs to be copied, but it does give an idea of how recessed in the mix and quiet the drums generally were in this time.

I don't know if the OP want's to spend any money, or indeed if he has Kontakt, but the NI 50s Drummer library would be ideal for this. I've got it, and will happily run a midi file through the brushes kit and post it if it helps by the way.
Big Busker
KVRist
 
54 posts since 23 Dec, 2015

Postby Big Busker; Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:47 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

One thing that may help: most productions of that time were live to tape, with perhaps only vocal overdubs. Drums were usually miked with one overhead, maybe two at the most (overhead and kick). Send the drum mix into a "live room" reverb, perhaps small to medium sized. Not too much, just take the edge off.

I concur with the others who say the cymbals are too forward in the mix. Perhaps taking a few cymbal hits out might help, since rockabilly of the time didn't use the crash (or 'sock' cymbal, as it was called) as much as comtemporary styles do. I would also get a different kick sound, since that sounds like a hard beater (wood or plastic) instead of the felt more commonly used then.

Pull the drum mix a bit further back, use a sidechain to duck the entire "band" so to speak (just a little), and let the guitar and vocals take center stage. Just my 2¢.
sjm
KVRian
 
1037 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:21 am Re: 50's/60's Production

I found this an interesting watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q-scxybnp0&t=2s

There's a couple of different setups in there that should give you an idea about what you are trying to emulate.
Kinh
KVRian
 
901 posts since 25 Aug, 2012

Postby Kinh; Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:45 pm Re: 50's/60's Production

Its good to see people today still appreciate the pioneers of comercial music.
And listening to that buddy holly track i can see the basic concept of pop is still intact today after all these years.
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